17 May 2009

5th International Day against Homophobia & Transphobia

Today is the 5th International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (Idaho). To me, this day is more meaningful than any Gay Pride days in the many cities of the world, since especially the Western ones are losing their political spirit to fight for equality that is not yet achieved. Homophobia, as an irrational of fear of different sexualities is the root of all unequal treatment, ignorance and hatred. Just like simple racism has stricken lives of so many, it is an unjustifiable human fear of the unknown and 'unusual' that leads people to do horrendous things.

Different events and online activism worldwide tried to create awareness today and call for dialog to discuss what can be done to challenge homophobia and transphobia.

Singapore, an otherwise thriving and modern city has laws punishing same-sex encounters and never saw any open gay events until yesterday. Activists called, trying to avoid to brand their project as "gay" (which would attract official intervention), called for people who believe in equal love for everyone to dress in pink and gather for visibility. The result is an heart- and groundbreaking progress for a beautifully diverse melting pot:

Moscow consecutively banned Gay Pride marches in the last years, taking away the right of free assembly or speech. The Russian capital hosted this year's Eurovision Song Contest, the world's biggest music competition whose often flamboyant, extravagant and glittery performances attract many gay fans. Despite this, only a handful of gathers dared to ignore the officials warning, that any unlawful assembly would be hardly dealt with. 40 people, many international politicans, were rapidly arrested after just 5 minutes. Only the concurrent anti-gay protests of right wings and orthodox Christians had the blessings of the Mayor.

Many online websites, such as gays.com who created a huge video project for the day and gayrussia.net, the main source of information of activists gathering in Moscow were attacked by viruses.

Web 2.0 (the interactive cyberspace) plays an increasing role in activism:
A London-based project, "A Day In Hand" calls on same-sex couples to hold hands in public to increase visibility. Pictures from couples worldwide are collected on their website adayinhand.com

Gays.com called upon the internet community to create the following video, showcasing this year's motto: Homosexuality knows no borders. Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transexuals exists everywhere. Homosexuality is no desease spread from the West or the 'immoral':

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